Source: Govt commits to speedy dispute resolution | The Herald June 8, 2017
Government is committed to creating a conducive business environment anchored on efficient justice delivery in commercial disputes, Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said. He said the country’s legislative framework should equip the courts to handle business cases expeditiously.Acting President Mnangagwa, who also oversees the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, said this on Tuesday in the National Assembly while steering the Estate Administrators Amendment Bill now in its second reading stage.
“Government’s role in relation to the creation of a conducive and viable business environment and the effective, efficient and fair administration of justice is beyond question.
“The nation’s thrust towards economic growth through the ease of doing business initiative is firmly anchored on an efficient justice delivery system insofar as the resolution of commercial and business matters is concerned.
“Government is, therefore, fully committed towards the creation of a sound and robust legal framework, which is essential for the establishment of a conducive and productive business environment,” said Acting President Mnangagwa.
“There is, therefore, no doubt that if our legislative framework equips the courts to handle business cases expeditiously, the country’s economic recovery and growth agenda will become achievable.
“In the whole, our economic goals as enunciated in the economic blueprint, Zim-Asset, will be realised.”
He said there was consensus that the resolution of insolvency cases was one of the key factors crucial to the effective and efficient running of business enterprises.
“The current legislation governing the resolution of insolvency cases is fragmented and scattered in several pieces of legislation. There is, also, duplication of duties between the Council of Estate Administrators and the Master of the High Court, thereby prolonging the process of resolving insolvency matters,” he said.
“These shortcomings, which adversely affect the ease of doing business in the country, have, therefore, necessitated the crafting of the Estate Administrators (Amendment Bill) 2016, which seeks to amend the Estate Administrators Act (Chapter 7:20),” said Acting President Mnangagwa.
He said clauses five and seven of the Bill sought to amend the principal Act by broadening the scope of application of the Act to include the Insolvency Practitioner in relation to the register kept by the Council of Estate Administrators and prohibition of practising without a certificate.
In addition to the register of Estate Administrators, said Acting President Mnangagwa, the council shall establish and maintain a register of insolvency practitioners.
In terms of the new provisions, the council shall establish and maintain a register to be known as the Register of Insolvency Practitioners to be open to the public for inspection.
Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Parliamentary Portfolio Committee chairperson Cde Ziyambi Ziyambi said members of the public felt that prescribing a fee to access the register, which is a public document, would hinder accountability.
The committee, however, felt a reasonable fee should be levied. “Regarding payment of a fee to access the register, it was the committee’s finding that a reasonable fee be levied to access the register.
“Instead of shooting down the proposed amendment, regard should be given to the amount levied. “n this instance, payment of a fee is in line with international best practice,” said Cde Ziyambi.